Hollowell Family Papers

Manuscript Collection #578
Hollowell family
Physical description
0.325 Cubic Feet, 24 items, consisting of correspondence, legal papers, financial records, account books, ledgers, a map, and miscellaneous material.
Preferred Citation
Hollowell Family Papers (#578), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1845-1937) of Pasquotank County, N.C. farming and mercantile family, including correspondence, legal papers, financial records, account books, ledgers, a map, cost of advertisements, business cards, etc.

Biographical/historical information

The Hollowell family was a prominent family of Pasquotank County, N.C. Christopher Wilson Hollowell was a friend and agent of James Cathcart Johnston, son of Samuel Johnston. Upon the death of James C. Johnston in May 1865, Hollowell, who had managed Johnston's Pasquotank County plantations, inherited the properties known as Poplar Plains, Salem, and Body. Hollowell's son, Christopher Wilson Hollowell, Jr., was born at Bay Side Plantation on July 8, 1871. Upon his father's death (ca. 1892), the younger Hollowell ran the farms, which were valued at over $20,000 in 1869; the hotel at Nags Head, N.C.; and a farmer's supply firm in Elizabeth City, N.C.

(For further information on C. W. Hollowell, Jr., see Pasquotank Historical Society Yearbook, volume 1, 1954-1955, p. 152).

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence in the collection includes a letter detailing a family excursion to the Outer Banks (1909), including details of costs, sightseeing, and the steamer ride over.

Legal papers consist of two unsigned rental agreements (1866) concerning the cultivation of lands by newly freed blacks, describing the amount of land to be cultivated, crops to be planted, work expected of the tenants, and the amount to be repaid to the landlord. An agreement concerning Nags Head Hotel (1889) details the specifications for a three-story, seventy-eight-room hotel on the sound shore of Nags Head. Labor costs for the project are noted.

The bulk of the collection consists of financial records including inventories, accounts, receipts, ledgers, and promissory notes. Among them are listings of items taken or damaged by Union soldiers passing through Pasquotank County, N.C., between 1863 and 1864, including a $400 horse, over 6,500 pounds of fodder, and over 500 bushels of corn. An account relating to the expenses of the estate of James C. Johnston, as well as inventories for Poplar Plains, Body, and Salem plantations (1865) are included. Receipts concern lumber purchased (1891) and produce sold (1894), as well as taxes (1899) for Pasquotank County.

Ledgers and accounts pertain primarily to C. W. Hollowell's business interests. One ledger records the amounts of barrel staves received at different places along the Perquimans River from 1848-1852, as well as receipts for the Wardens of the Poor of Pasquotank County (1857-1859 in ledger #578.1.e; 1862-1864 in ledger #578.2.a on pp. 50-51, 81, and 86). Farm ledgers (1859-1866) list amounts of crops received from various fields; slaves' shoe sizes (ca. 1863), giving name of slave, length of foot, and shoe size; inventories of livestock (hogs, cattle, and sheep, with the number of hogs killed and number of sheep sheared); and accounts of crops sown, harvested, and sold. Memoranda mention wounded soldiers who stayed with Hollowell in 1862, a pass to leave Elizabeth City, N.C. (1863), and home remedies for the chills.

Other account books note allotments of food to freed blacks (1866), rates for ditching, expenses of farms, cost of building a house, work accounts, and wage agreements. Also included are lists (ledger #578.2.a on pp. 47, 56-58) of slaves taken by Union troops in 1862 and 1863, giving name, age, and valuation, and a list (ledger #578.2.a on p. 298) of slaves who remained on various plantations of James C. Johnston throughout the Civil War.

After the Civil War, accounts of individual workers appear, often with brief job and wage descriptions. If time was lost during the year, it was often noted with the reasons, i.e., weddings, weather conditions, illness, fishing, etc. Types of jobs included are field hands, blacksmiths, carpenters, and house hands. Accounts (1855-1892) for crops for various years are included as are accounts for a cotton gin, molasses mill, and fishery.

A final account book lists accounts for the Nags Head Hotel and the Steamer CLARENCE. Accounts of residents/guests of the hotel are given with hometown of the guest noted, as well as accompanying persons. Costs of advertisements in various papers and subscription costs of periodicals are presented.

Mrs. Hollowell's ledger (1892-1937) gives statistical information for various churches, receipts for produce, interest on Liberty Bonds (1922-1936), egg production, workers' accounts, and contributions to several church-related causes.

Miscellaneous material includes French and Latin exercises (ca. 1893), a business card, a plot map of the Sand Field on one of Hollowell's farms (undated), a religious broadside, and a map of Elizabeth City Colony Lands (ca. 1920).

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 29, 1989, 24 items and 12 volumes; Papers (1845-1936) of Pasquotank County, N.C., family including farm ledgers, slave records, and property inventories for Bay Side, Poplar Plains, Body, and Salem farms; records (1892) for Nags Head Hotel; and general accounts. Gift of Mr. George Stevenson, Raleigh, N.C.

August 21, 1996 (unprocessed addition 1), 23 items; Glass negatives showing Hollowell family members, the Hollowell home, beach scenes, logging, etc. Donor: Mr. William E. Elmore.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. William E. Elmore

Gift of Mr. George Stevenson

Processing information

Processed by V. Jones, Jr., October 1990

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Hollowell family
Agriculture--North Carolina--Dare County
Agriculture--North Carolina--Pasquotank County
Slavery--North Carolina--Dare County
Slavery--North Carolina--Pasquotank County
Dare County (N.C.)--Genealogy
North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Pasquotank County (N.C.)--Genealogy

Container list
Box 1 Correspondence, legal papers, financial papers, miscellaneous, account books, and ledgers (1848-1866, 1879-1881, 1889, 1892-1937)
Box 2 Account books and ledgers (1855-1872, 1871-1892)
Box 3 Account books and ledgers (1890-1897, 1892-1901)
Folder os1 Plot and Description of the Elizabeth City Colony Lands